My Journey and Growth in the RN to BSN Program
My journey in the RN to BSN Program was not a simple one. It took a lot from me to get through the entire program; but even though it entailed hard work, it was worth it. All the courses I took led to my personal growth and development as a nurse, and equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skill to make it to the professional world. As I was taking one nursing course to another, I kept in mind the 10 Program Objectives of the RN to BSN Degree Program to act as my checklist if I am in any way making progress in my studies. Through this paper, I express in detail my journey and growth in the nursing program.
I. Synthesize knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences and nursing sciences in understanding global perspectives, stimulating critical thinking, and using current technologies.
In line with the first objective of the program, the university recognizes the need for the holistic development of each student, therefore, the program curriculum does not only consist of nursing courses, it also require students to take liberal arts and science courses. But because I have already took courses such as English, Literature, Philosophy, Sociology before, I had them credited by the university academic advisor and just proceeded with the core nursing courses. The core nursing courses I took also incorporated a detailed understanding of the global perspective and stimulated my critical thinking.
One of the courses that I took that helped me develop critical thinking was NUR 342 (Dimensions of Professional Nursing Practice). The subject entailed me to study the roles of the professional nurse, nursing as a profession, and the issues regarding it. The course also was equipped with lectures about the nursing theory and processes. Towards the end of the course, I was able to understand the nursing profession with clearer, and it left me with a better perspective on the profession.
II. Make sound decisions in advocating for clients and when designing, coordinating, and managing nursing care for individuals, families, and communities.
The second objective of the program not only requires the students to develop critical thinking, it also aims that students like me develop a clear mind to be successful in decision making and be able to handle different situations as each client’s needs are different from all others. Thankfully, the subjects were able to teach me just that.
III. Provide compassionate, culturally sensitive, direct and indirect nursing care to clients in a variety of settings.
I have long recognized the fact that in the nursing profession, I would get to deal with clients of different nationalities and cultures. Being a nurse entails that I be open minded, compassionate, and culturally sensitive as the third objective dictates. That is why as I took the RN to BSN journey step by step, I also conditioned myself into being a sensitive person, thinking of as much possible situations as there is, and of means I can handle the diverse situations with a clear mind and a compassionate personality.
The subject I took that would fit the second and third objectives perfectly is NUR 343 (Nursing Assessment for the Experienced Nurse). In this subject, I had to review body systems, physical examination processes and techniques as well as concepts in assessing individual clients. I have to admit it is scary to even think that even just one mistake of a nurse can be fatal for a patient, that is why I intended to focus on this subject so that I will be able to avoid mistakes and provide the best healthcare program possible for my clients.
IV. Communicate, collaborate, and negotiate in an effective manner.
This fourth objective can actually be achieved not through theoretical learning, but by practical learning. Yes, there are subjects or courses out there which provide theories or guides on communication strategies, but one can only be an effective communicator if he or she acts like one. It was instilled to us that in the nursing profession, the first step into helping and taking care of the patients is by having clear and sensible communication with them. Throughout all the courses in the RN to BSN Program, effective communication was thought and tackled.
V. Exhibit professional values and behaviors as affirmed by a code of ethics, professional standards, and legal statutes.
NUR 342 also covers this fifth objective, although ethics and professionalism are two things that were always present in each discussion of every nursing course that I took. Although I would not be able to recite the nursing code of ethics one by one in a heartbeat, the courses I took were able to instill them to me, and I am sure that I would know what is ethical or not (based on the code of ethics) when presented with a difficult situation. The learning process of studying ethics, professional standards, and legal statutes imparted to students like me were effective enough to guide us as we step onto the nursing professional world.
VI. Employ principles of teaching and learning to promote healthy lifestyles through health promotion, risk reduction, and disease prevention education.
Nearing the end of my journey in the RN to BSN Degree Program, I found myself extra cautious on what I eat and do to stay healthy. I also became an adviser to those close to me about what medicine to take or what remedies to use in case of sickness. The courses which I took all helped me to develop a healthy lifestyle for myself and for the people I am close to.
There was a course in the program that was designed to meet this objective—NUR 350 (Health Promotion & Rehabilitation Nursing Theory). This particular course required me to examine past and current issues related to wellness and health promotion. Through learning those concepts and theories, I was able to incorporate them into my lifestyle and put them into application.
VII. Base practice on current knowledge and theory by participating in and using research.
In line with this seventh objective, the courses that were helpful to me to achieve the above mentioned goal were the following: NUR 332 (Nursing Research for the Experienced Nurse), NUR 350 (Health Promotion & Rehabilitation Nursing Theory), NUR 440 (Critical Care Nursing Theory for the Experienced Nurse), NUR 450 (Community Health Nursing Theory for the Experienced Nurse), and NUR 451 (Community Health Nursing Practice for the Experienced Nurse).
I must admit that the courses on nursing theories on critical care, community health, and health promotion and rehabilitation involved a lot of hard work. Learning theories and trying to memorize each and every one of them is tedious; good thing there are also nursing practice courses in which those theories are put into application. The courses I took were not just limited to theories, concepts, and applications. The RN to BSN Program also emphasized the role of research in the nursing profession, developing my critical thinking skills.
VIII Provide leadership within interdisciplinary healthcare teams and professional, political, and/or regulatory organizations to effect change in healthcare.
VIIII. Use managerial skills to allocate and manage resources and evaluate nursing care outcomes.
Objectives eight and nine are relatively the same in the way that they pertain to the same goal: leadership. A particular course that I took, NUR 462 (Leadership & Management in Professional Practice), equipped us with leadership and management skills theories that are critical in the nursing profession. These theories and concepts are essential and would be very helpful in decision-making processes and handling difficult situations in nursing.
X. Assume responsibility for lifelong learning and professional career development.
I know that my learning journey into the nursing profession does not end at the time my journey in the RN to BSN Degree Program ends. It is what I have chosen as a profession, and as I go through each day as a nurse, I would still be learning more and more knowledge and skills that are not confined within the curriculum of a nursing degree. Thankfully, I am ready to face more challenges in the nursing world because I feel fully equipped with the necessary knowledge, information, and skill that the courses I took in the RN to BSN Degree Program have given me.